new year's resolution

New Year, Better Goals

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I love the end of December. We get Christmas, my birthday (selfish), and New Year’s.

Today starts the brief window of about one to two weeks of everybody at their most optimistic. It never lasts but at least we get to see people setting goals, dreaming big, believing in themselves, and hoping for change. You get a peek into who they want to be. After the first few weeks of January people usually hide that part away from the public again. We get embarrassed because we've already slipped up on our plans so we might as well give up all together. We feel stupid for even trying. Shut it down.

I really hope I don't fall into the same pattern. I've done it before. I have the capacity to do it again.

I started using Michael Hyatt's Full Focus Planner at the beginning of December and I really hope it can help stay on track. It's really dragging me out of my comfort zone. No one has ever accused me of being organized. It's all very new and strange for me to even attempt this. I had to watch 11 training videos to learn how to use this planner.

My favorite aspect of the planner is how you set goals. You’re supposed to make them big and risky. Clearly define them. I’ve seen a lot of people on instagram with resolutions like “be better with money” or “be less stressed.” What does that even mean? It’s so vague and forgettable. How are you going to measure it?

It’s all about SMART goals, baby! Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant (or risky), and time-bound. Give it a deadline!

After you’ve figured out what your goals are, the planner has a space for you to write out WHY the goal is important to you and you designate a REWARD for when you finish it. I love that. That why is going to keep you motivated and if that doesn’t work you can remind yourself of that sweet present you’re going to give yourself when you finally complete the goal.

I’ve got my goals all figured out. I’m excited for 2019. Big things are coming.

2018: The Year of the Groundhog

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Do you do resolutions? I don’t know if I do. If I do, I don’t remember a single one I’ve ever set. Every year it's probably just “do better and don’t die.” Some years I only live up to half of that (I’ve died several times).

This year I don’t really have resolutions, I guess. They're not concrete goals. I have statements? Self commands? I have a theme for the year? They're mantras I want to yell at myself when I get off course. Does that sound like a Self Help idea? Am I becoming a Self Help person? If so, oh well. I promise I won't start posting pictures of myself doing yoga on a beach (I keep those pictures private).

I thought I’d share one of my themes for 2018 because it might hit home for a few of you.

Last month I asked people to anonymously send me their biggest fears going into 2018.

Here are a few of your submissions:

“That’ll it will be just the same as 2017. That nothing will change. That I won’t improve.

“That it will end up just being more of the same crap from this year…

“Spiders”

“That I will find myself repeating an experience that will lead me away from youth ministry

“My biggest fear is that this year, nothing will change; that I’ll give into fear that my life will never be anything more than it is now. I’m afraid I won’t take the risks I need to take to move forward and do what God has called me to do, rather than what people expect of me.

It was a real relief to read some of these. I originally asked for submissions because I was drowning in anxiety. I was spending a lot of time with my heart beating way too fast and I needed to hear that other people had to worries too. A lot of these sounded like what was going on in my head. I wasn’t alone (hooray!).

My biggest resolution/theme/mantra/catchphrase for 2018 is

REFUSE MORE OF THE SAME

I'm writing it in all my notebooks. It keeps showing up in my calendar and on all my To Do lists. This is what I want to be able to say at the end of the year. "I refused to have more of the same."

It's what a lot of us were afraid of going into the new year. I don’t want to do last year again. I don’t want to do the last 5 years again. I don't want the same frustrations, excuses, mistakes, and problems I've put myself through over and over. I refuse! NOT TODAY, SATAN! Send it back to the chef! Give me something new!

I know I don’t have control of everything that’s going to happen in 2018 but there are things I can control. I want to be really mindful and intentional about not falling into the exact same patterns that have screwed me up in years past. It’s a new year and I want to make sure I’m actively trying to make it AS NEW AS POSSIBLE.

You know how in the movie Groundhog Day Bill Murray lives the same day over and over and over? It feels like that's what I've been doing for the last few years. Except I haven't even noticed that it's the same! I've been oblivious to it. UNTIL NOW, BABY! There comes a scene in Groundhog Day where Murray is tired of wasting the day so he tries to make the most of it and make a difference. That's the part of the movie I'm in.

Refuse more of the same!

And if this year doesn't go well for me, I'm going to steal a groundhog and let it drive my truck off a cliff.

Also, please, no spiders.